Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Dagger board on double kayak LOT 41

Date: c 2006
Overall: 158 x 613 x 33 mm, 3800 g
Medium: Metal, hardwood, fibreglass, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by James Castrission and Justin Jones of Crossing the Ditch
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Dagger board keel
Object No: 00047058
Related Place:New Plymouth, Forster,

User Terms

    This retractable dagger board was used on the double kayak LOT 41, the first kayak to be successfully paddled across the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand in 2007/2008. This record-breaking expedition, known as Crossing the Ditch, was undertaken over 62 days by young Australians Justin Jones (25 yrs) and James Castrission (24 yrs).

    The dagger board, or retractable keel, is a combination of stainless steel, hardwood and fibreglass sheathing and was used to improve stability and tracking on the kayak. Despite spending many months experimenting with the design and construction of the dagger board prior to departure, it was hardly used during the ocean voyage.
    SignificanceThe double kayak LOT 41 shows the personal world created and inhabited by James Castrission and Justin Jones during the 62 days they survived at sea on their record-breaking voyage across the Tasman Sea in 2007/2008. The kayak's design and construction is a significant historical resource to demonstrate the technologies, equipment and materials available in 2007 for undertaking a previously uncharted and dangerous sea voyage.

    LOT 41 is also a unique record of how two very young and relatively inexperienced adventurers were able to safely paddle from Australia to New Zealand. Their journey aboard the kayak was broadcast live to millions of people around the world through their website with daily updates of photos, commentary and GPS tracking. Castrission and Jones also spoke regularly to radio stations during their 62 days at sea and were both farewelled and greeted by television cameras and thousands of supporters as they began and ended their journey.

    LOT 41 is the subject of an extensive repository of written and photographic documentation held by a wide variety of sources - reporting, discussing and recording the extreme nature of the historic voyage.
    HistoryOn 13 November 2007 Sydney-based James Castrission and Justin Jones left Forster, on the mid-north coast of Australia, to become the first successful kayak expedition to cross the Tasman Sea. Sixty-two days later on 13 January 2008, after paddling 3318km, they arrived in New Zealand, landing at Nganotu Beach near New Plymouth on the North Island.

    Naming their expedition 'Crossing the Ditch' after the colloquial expression used to refer to travel between Australia and New Zealand, the pair had achieved both the 'world first' of successfully kayaking across the Tasman Sea, and attained the world record for 'the longest trans-oceanic kayaking expedition undertaken by two expeditioners'. Their remarkable voyage, which was tracked in real time through their website, is the subject of a film documentary and book, both of which were published and released in 2009.

    Castrission and Jones' achievement is inextricably linked to the ill-fated attempt by Australian adventurer Andrew McAuley to become the first solo kayaker to cross the Tasman Sea in February 2007. After paddling for over a month from Tasmania's east coast, McAuley was lost at sea within sight of the South Island of New Zealand. His kayak and its remaining contents, retrieved two days after his disappearance, were donated to the ANMM by his widow Vicki McAuley and friend Paul Hewitson in December 2007.

    Castrission and Jones chose a more northerly route across the Tasman than McAuley, selecting their departure and arrival points on their topographical reputations as safe and protected harbours. The double kayakers were acutely aware that the most dangerous parts of their voyage were the landfalls, in particular, the final coming ashore in New Zealand.

    In 2009/10, Castrission and Jones, as successful ocean-going adventurers, were engaged as motivational advisors to 16 year-old Australian sailor Jessica Watson as she prepared for her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Crossing the Ditch collection

    Assigned title: Dagger board keel for double kayak LOT 41

    Web title: Dagger board on double kayak LOT 41

    Related People
    Designer: Rob Feloy

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.